Millionaire Grade 1 winner Bellafina completed major preparations for the $125,000 Carousel Stakes for older female sprinters April 25 by working a sharp half-mile over a fast track Saturday morning at Oaklawn Park for trainer Simon Callaghan.
Breezing on a sunny, cool morning immediately after the surface renovation break, Bellafina went in :47.80 under Joe Talamo. Clockers caught the 4-year-old daughter of Quality Road with a final quarter-mile of :23.60 and galloping out 5 furlongs in 1:00.20.
“Unbelievable,” Talamo said after getting on Bellafina for the first time. “Absolutely skipped over the track this morning.”
Bellafina had been galloping since being flown Tuesday to Arkansas from her Southern California base.
Bellafina hasn’t started since finishing second in the $300,000 La Brea Stakes (G1) Dec. 28 at Santa Anita. Earlier in 2019, Bellafina won the $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks (G1) at Santa Anita, $200,000 Las Virgenes Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita and the $200,000 Santa Ynez Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita. She also finished second, beaten three-quarters of a length by Covfefe, in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.
“Believe me, I’ve watched her run quite a few times out there in California,” said Talamo, previously based in Southern California. “She’s nice, really nice.”
Also working Saturday morning toward the Carousel was another millionaire Grade 1 winner, Mia Mischief, for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen. Mia Mischief breezed a half-mile in :49.20.
Other Saturday workers included Eclipse Award winner British Idiom and a trio of 2020 Oaklawn stakes winners – Shedaresthedevil, Silver Prospector and Night Ops.
British Idiom covered a half-mile in :48 for trainer Brad Cox, while stablemate Shedaresthedevil went 5 furlongs in :59. Shedaresthedevil won the $300,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) for 3-year-old fillies March 7 in her last start. British Idiom, the country’s champion 2-year-old filly of 2019, and Shedaresthedevil are pointing for the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) May 1.
Shedaresthedevil shared the 5-furlong bullet with Silver Prospector, an Asmussen trainee who is pointing for the $750,000 Arkansas Derby (G1) May 2. Silver Prospector won the $750,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 17.
Night Ops worked a half-mile in :47.40 for Cox in advance of the $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) for older horses May 2. Night Ops won the $350,000 Essex Handicap March 14.